Love it or Leave it: The best and worst products for blemish prone skin
In the fight against acne, clear winners and losers emerge

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Women from thirteen to thirty -- and beyond -- battle the blemish.  But no matter your age, the basics of clear skin include banishing bacteria, managing oil production and exfoliating to promote the shedding of dead skin cells so that new skin cells will replace them.

You’ve got pimples, we’ve got answers.

We’ve tested and tried dozens of the top blemish blasting products on the market and rounded up a list of which ones work and which just made our skin look worse. Yikes!  That means you can skip the six to eight week detour traditionally needed to determine whether or not a product is effective, and get on the road to perfect skin today. 

Love it! Clean & Clear Advantage Blackhead Eraser
One of our favorite acne fightin’ products can be found right in the aisles of your local drugstore.  It’s Clean & Clear’s Blackhead Eraser and, at less than $20, this battery operated blackhead blaster actually works.

The product is easy to use: simply stick one of the included cleansing pads to the velcro style surface of the hand held device, add some water to the pad and turn the power dial to the “on” position.

The active ingredient on the pads is 1% Salicyclic Acid; mild enough to be tolerable to most skin types. Plus, the vibrating motion helps exfoliate dead skin as well as driving the Salicyclic Acid into the pores where it’s most effective.  
Get the Clean & Clear Advantage Blackhead Eraser with 20 pads at Target for $17.99.

Leave it: Skin by Dr. Gram
We love that the collection is paraben free and sulfate free, but at the steep price of $52, we wanted to see serious results.   Unfortunately, all we saw was leaking cleanser as the upside down packaging means valuable product (about $10 an ounce) flows freely.

Love it! Dermadoctor’s Ain't Misbehavin' Collection
No matter your concern, Dermadoctor’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ line boasts a customized solution for problem skin of all types. The emergency acne spot treatment ($36 at dermadoctor.com) promises to be better than a cortisone shot at eradicating zits and the intensive blackhead treatment ($42) gets rid of blackheads, those pesky black skin plugs caused by excess oil. Rounding out the collection is the aha/bha acne cleanser ($25) and sulfur acne mask ($45); both succeed at curbing bacteria growth.

Leave it: We were immediately drawn to the generous 6 oz. container of pHisoderm Anti-Blemish Facial Wash for less than $6 while browsing the blemish bustin’ offerings at our fave drugstore. Sure, the price is right, but the deal turned sour when we didn’t see any compelling results after using the product for weeks. Cheap? Yes. Results driven? Definitely not. Our advice: save up for something that actually works.

Love ‘em: Battery Operated Zit Zappers
Thermaclear is an acne clearing device that uses a two-second Thermal Pulse Technology™ similar to the laser technology used by dermatologists.  News flash ladies, this product actually works, meaning we no longer worry about that occasional hormonal flare up.  According to the company, the device neutralizes acne-causing bacteria under the surface of the skin, so breakouts disappear up to four times faster than usual.  That old adage “you get what you pay for” holds true here; Thermaclear sells for about $149 at Sephora.com.

Another favorite is Zeno Mini, a hand help device that calls upon ClearPoint technology to deliver bacteria-killing heat to the blemish site.  The device operates on the two AAA batteries included in the package and, interestingly enough, doesn’t need to be cleaned. Get it for $129 at myzeno.com.

More Best and Worst Acne Fightin' Products

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